My recent blog post on Ferris Bueller came to mind. I don't think anyone else could have carried off the character and made him as likable as Matthew Broderick did. Marty McFly could only have been played by Michael J. Fox, as evidenced by the Eric Stoltz casting mess. Fox has his own unique charm and comic timing that makes a lot of the movie. Harrison Ford does the same thing in both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. What would Darth Vader be without the voice of James Earl Jones? Could any other child actor pull off the pain that was required of the role of Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense. The pairing of Bruce Willis as John McClane and Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber made Die Hard the classic it is....otherwise it would just be another generic action film. Their charisma is what made it work! (I'd also mention Alan Rickman in Harry Potter)
Only a few actresses really stood out to me: The Devil Wears Prada, while not my favorite movie of all time by any means...would be NOTHING without Meryl Streep's performance. Enchanted wouldn't have worked with anyone else but Amy Adams. She wasn't acting like a princess in that movie...she became one. I don't know another actress could have played Nina as Natalie Portman played her in Black Swan.
Classically speaking, we agreed on Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life and Audrey Hepburn's turn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Each role is central to their respective movie, and each actor pulls off every aspect that is necessary to their character.
What do you think are some of the best and worst casting choices of all time?